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Maritime Regional Bank To Begin  Operations In 90 Days

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The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, has expressed the hope that within 90 days the ministry will be able to secure accommodation to enable the take-off of the Regional Maritime Development Bank (RMDB).
A statement from the Director, Press and Public Relations from the Ministry of Transportation, Eric Ojiekwe, said Sambo made this known when he received  the Secretary General, Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa (MOWCA), Dr. Paul Adalikwu, at the ministry.
“When I resumed here, i realised immediately that the Regional Maritime Bank is one of the lowest hanging fruits that we can achieve within a very short time. In fact, 90 days is too long”, the statement quoted Sambo.
The minister observed that all efforts towards getting accommodation via the Central Bank of Nigeria has not yielded any outcomes, so he will approach the Attorney General of the Federation to see if one of the forfeited properties can be allocated to the bank.
Speaking further, Sambo encouraged the Secretary General, to leverage on MOWCA, as a regional body, to push for Nigeria’s intent of becoming member of Category C in International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
Earlier, MOWCA, Secretary General, Adalikwu,  stated that the idea of a Regional Maritime Development Bank was conceived 11 years ago to facilitate single digit interest loans to provide leeway to key players in the sector and enable them compete favourably with their international counterparts.
According to Adalikwu:“Eight countries have signed the Charter as required in the document establishing the bank.
“Two weeks ago, DRC Congo also signed, making it nine countries, one above the threshold required for the establishment of the Act”.
Speaking further, he informed that the  organogram of RMDB as adopted by council members had positions of President of the body, Company Secretary and a seat on the board ceded to Nigeria, while Cameroun is to produce the  Vice President 1, and Ivory Coast, Vice President 2, adding that other members countries are to provide board members for the Maritime bank.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani,  commended Dr. Adalikwu, on the forthcoming regional meeting scheduled for Abuja in November, 2022.
The Secretary General of IMO, Kitlack Lim, will seek to prevail on the 25 member States to adopt the Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences (SPOMO) Act, to enable trial of piracy cases within the MOWCA sub-region, irrespective of whichever sub-region the  crime was committed.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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NOSDRA Blames Drop In Gas Export On Vandalism

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The drop in Nigeria’s gas export by as much as five million standard cubic meters per day (MMSCM/d) has been blamed on the activities of vandals operating in Azikoro community of Bayelsa State.
It was gathered that the drop was sequel to an explosion which occurred at the 24 Ogboinbiri and OB-OB gas pipeline, the gas export feed to the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) plant.
The Director-General and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Mr Idris Musa, confirmed the pipeline blast to newsmen, last Wednesday.
He said that the blast was reported to the agency in the early hours of Tuesday, noting that the damaged facility normally evacuates an average of five MMSCM/d.
Musa said following the notification, a team of officials comprising the Secretary of Azikoro community, the Bayelsa commissioner for Mineral Resources and representatives of NOSDRA visited the incident site early Wednesday.
He said that the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), the operator of the facility, was promptly notified of the incident.
“Due to the high pressure, NAOC was directed by NOSDRA to depressurize the facility preparatory for a Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) which will follow immediately to ascertain the cause and extent of the incident.
“NAOC is already at the incident site, with the agency among other stakeholders working to contain the explosion and secure the incident site preparatory to JIV and other remedial measures,” Musa said.
He said that NOSDRA would conduct the investigations in a transparent manner, and pledged that its findings would be made public in due course.
Meanwhile, officials of NAOC declined comments when contacted for reaction.
Some of the residents near the incident site said that they heard sound of explosions on Tuesday morning in the area.
They also alleged that some small batteries and wires suspected to be used by the vandals to detonate improvised explosive device were found in the area.
The gas pipeline was vandalised three times in April, 2022.

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ANLCA Seeks N200bn Compensation From Bank Over Demurrage 

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The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has called for the payment of over N200 billion compensation on demurrage and storage charges incurred by customs brokers and freight forwarders as a result of Guarantee Trust Bank’s suspension over alleged non-remittance of import duty collected on behalf of the Federal Government .
The foremost customs brokers association insisted that its members have lost about N200 billion in the line of duty.
Speaking in Lagos recently on behalf of the association, the National Secretary of ANLCA, Alhaji Babatunde Mukaila, expressed dissatisfaction over the slow responses by management of GTB on the suspension with Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
Mukaila noted that the association was aware that NCS gave GTBank two weeks notice to resolve their challenges.
The scribe said despite the marching order from the NCS, GTB has not resolved the issue or made alternative arrangement for the interest of their clients.
The ANLCA chieftain said its members won’t bear the cost of demurrage incurred, while insisting  that they won’t let go of the losses.
He recalled that in the past, some banks have had similar problems, but quickly appointed a receiver bank pending the resolution of the matter.
Speaking with representatives from GTBank in Lagos, Mukaila stressed that the approach of the Gtbank  amounts to negligence on their.
“Where there is negligence, someone or group suffers the detriment and as such in every detriment there must be compensation.
He reiterated that the aims and objectives of the association is to protect its members, while asking the bank officials how they intend to mitigate the losses.
Other members of the association in attendance also took turn to  condemn the bank’s attitude and concluded that there will be no stand down on demand for adequate compensation.
In his response, the representative of GTbank, Lanre Kola-Banjo, apologised to the customs brokers, explaining that  the problem was a result of technical fault from the server.
He however debunked that they were given two weeks notice.
Contrarily, he said, “we woke up one morning only to discover that we had been disconnected”.
Meanwhile, he said they have contacted their customers who were directly involved, apologised and explained the circumstance to them.
He further explained that it was after they had been suspended from accessing the NCS portal that they were given 2 weeks to fix the technical problem or face serious sanction.
According to him,”the problem has been resolved since the 9th September”.
He promised to take ANLCA’s demands to the top management of the bank for further action.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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BOT Registration: ANLCA Acquires CAC Certificate

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As further confirmation of recognition, the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) has issued fresh certificate recognising Dr. Taiwo Afolabi and Chief Ozo Chukwura as Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Registered Board of Trustees (BOT), Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) .
The certificate issued recently with registration number 6754, also listed Onyenaechi Offor, Emmanuel Azodo, Eniola Igbaroo, Ayokunle Abel, Aliyu Isa, Shamsudeen Awopeju and Christian Igwe as members.
Chairman of SIFAX Group and proprietor of Marriot Hotel, Lagos, Dr Taiwo Afolabi, was elected the Chairman of the BOT of ANLCA.
Afolabi was chosen by other BoT members in Lagos last year.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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